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Staatskapelle with Mahler and Schumann under Daniele Gatti

Flags of the Staatskapelle wave in the wind in front of the Semperoper / Photo: Robert Michael/dpa
Flags of the Staatskapelle wave in the wind in front of the Semperoper / Photo: Robert Michael/dpa

With a 475-year history, the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden is one of the world's oldest orchestras. In the fall, it will have a new conductor - Christian Thielemann after twelve years.

In his first season as head of the Staatskapelle Dresden, Italian conductor Daniele Gatti will focus on Gustav Mahler and Robert Schumann. Gatti succeeds Christian Thielemann, who is returning to the capital after twelve years in Dresden as General Music Director of the Deutsche Oper Berlin. With its first Mahler cycle, the orchestra is opening "a new chapter in its tradition-steeped history", said future orchestra director Annekatrin Fojuth on Wednesday at the presentation of the 2024/2025 program. Gatti, who has a six-year contract until 2030, will dedicate himself to Mahler's complete symphonies, starting with those of the "Wunderhorn" years, which spanned the composer's first four symphonies".

"Capell Virtuoso" - an honorary title of the orchestra - is violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann, for the second time after 2018/2019. He can be heard as a soloist in performances of Mahler and Schumann symphonies and will also take the orchestra on concert tours to Austria, Hungary, Luxembourg, Switzerland and the Netherlands under the direction of Gatti.

Gatti will conduct seven of the twelve symphony concerts. As he did 20 years ago, he will conduct Giuseppe Verdi's "Messa da Requiem" in the concert commemorating the destruction of Dresden on February 13, 1945. When he made his debut with the Staatskapelle in Dresden in 2000, "one of my childhood dreams came true", confessed the 62-year-old. He remembers "that golden sound, the combination of the velvet of the strings, the radiant brass and the dark nuances in the wood - an unmistakably natural and human sound!".

In addition to him, honorary conductor Herbert Blomstedt and Philippe Herreweghe, a specialist in early music, will take to the podium, while US conductor Karina Canellakis will make her Staatskapelle debut with the concert at the turn of the year. And the designated chief conductor of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Petr Popelka, will conduct a symphony concert of the "miracle harp", as Richard Wagner once called the Staatskapelle, for the first time.

Another announced highlight is a symphony concert with conductor Tugan Sokhiev and cellist Sol Gabetta. Following the concerts in the Semperoper, they will go on tour with the orchestra to Hamburg, Berlin, Munich, Vienna, Basel, Paris and Toulouse. Pianist Rudolf Buchbinder will also make a guest appearance with the ensemble in Salzburg.

According to Fojuth, the new "Kapelle für alle Fälle" section is intended to offer new "musical experiences beyond the usual concert experience" in combination with tried and tested concert formats. In addition to new performances of "Kapelle für Kids" or concerts at "Ohne Frack auf Tour", there will be an "instrument carousel" for the youngest, moderated dress rehearsal visits, a "Concert Lounge" and a moderated special concert "Natur pur!" - for all generations.

Copyright 2024, dpa (www.dpa.de). All rights reserved

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